How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the 3-4

Posted: August 13th, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 93 Comments »

I’m a 4-3 guy. Always have been. Always will be. Tom Landry invented it. Buddy Ryan perfected it. The 4-3 is the defense that any good person should want his team to run.

Unfortunately, times are changing. The 3-4, and variations of it, are on the rise. This epidemic is worse than when crack cocaine took over the inner cities of the world in the 1980s or even Bieber Fever. Yes, it’s that serious.

Much as I’d love to sit here and rip Chip Kelly and Bill Davis for their love of the 3-4 (they probably also worship the devil and drink New Coke), I can’t do it. All the cool coaches now love the 3-4. It is like a Members Only jacket to an 8th grader, circa 1983. Gotta have it. If you don’t have it, something is wrong with you. And there’s definitely no way that Gina will ever throw herself at you.

One college coach recently went so far as to say the 4-3 is a dying defense. The thinking is that QBs are so smart these days that having 4 DL in set spots is just not the way to go. Your only hope for beating Peyton Manning or Tom Brady is to confuse them, even if only for half a second. That delay might just be enough to let a DB get into position to make a play on a ball.

You can go 4-3 if you have a dominant DL. We saw what the 2007 Giants did to the Patriots and that great offense. The 2011 Giants had a bit more luck, with Gronk being hurt and Wes Welker dropping an easy pass that would have delivered a big gain. A good DL isn’t enough. You need a group that can take over games.

Or…be hybrid. Use multiple fronts and confuse the heck out of the QB. Get creative and attack.

That’s what Kelly wants. That’s what Davis wants. That’s what they’ll run. So embrace it. Love it.

There are quite a few people who want to know why Kelly and Davis can’t see the Eagles have good 4-3 personnel and don’t stick with that. Simply put, they want their 3-4.

Bill Parcells took over the Dallas Cowboys in 2003. He is a 3-4 coach. Loves it, lives it. Dallas had small guys that didn’t fit the 3-4 and the defense was already good under Mike Zimmer. Tuna decided to set aside his feelings and go with the 4-3. Dallas responded by having the #1 defense in football in 2003. They made the playoffs and Parcells was okay with life. The next year the defense and overall team struggled. Parcells junked the 4-3 and went to his beloved 3-4. He had a phenomenal defensive draft in 2005, landing DeMarcus Ware, Marcus Spears, Kevin Burnett, Chris Canty and Jay Ratliff. That allowed Dallas to make the transition quicker than most.

Parcells was willing to try something new (the 4-3), but it wasn’t something he was comfortable with. He wanted his 3-4. Kelly and Davis feel the same way. I’d rather them make the switch now than in 2 years. Go ahead and get the process started. It will be painful at times (like Friday night), but if they are 3-4 coaches, don’t waste time. Put the scheme in (some version of it) so that young players can start getting a feel for it. I’d rather have Fletcher Cox and Mychal Kendricks learning the 3-4 in 2013, when I don’t have high hopes, than in a year or two when I want us to push for the playoffs.

It takes time to make the transition. You can’t count on landing players like Parcells did. They just aren’t available every year.

Kelly and Howie Roseman focused more on offense in the 2013 draft. I think part of that was by design. My guess, and it is only a guess, is that they wanted to see how the current players did in the 3-4. That would tell them which spots need to be addressed. Give the current players time before reaching conclusions. I’d say by November we’ll know who is making a slow transition and who simply isn’t meant to play in the 3-4.

Think about the Steelers. They rarely play rookies. Their system has been in place for years, but because so few players are truly ready for the NFL version of the 3-4, the Steelers give guys time to learn and to adapt. Even then, there will be adjustments. Lawrence Timmons was drafted to be a star OLB. He did nothing as a rookie. He started 2 games in his second season. The next year he moved to ILB and became a good player. He’s been a stud ILB ever since. Be patient with talented players.

I would bet than next April May the Eagles go heavy on defense in the draft and we see a real commitment to the 3-4.

One criticism I do have of Davis and Kelly is this talk of running a 2-gap version of the 3-4. Fletcher Cox is your most talented player on defense. He is best when attacking. I think they should absolutely go with the Wade Phillips 1-gap version (which is essentially the 4-3 Under). Having Fletch 2-gap on most base plays would seem to be a less than ideal use of his ability. They talk about adjusting to personnel so as they see the guys perform this year, they will alter some of their scheme ideas accordingly. I hope so, anyway.

It’s here and it isn’t going away.  Embrace the 3-4 or I will send Juan Castillo over to your house to explain some of his defensive strategies to you.


93 Comments on “How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the 3-4”

  1. 1 T_S_O_P said at 11:56 AM on August 13th, 2013:

    Word in Steeler town is that they want their DEs to get to the QB more, would that be transitioning to the 1-gap? Davis’ mentors are to be found there and in Wisconsin, so maybe 1-gap is the way.

  2. 2 Media Mike said at 8:26 AM on August 14th, 2013:

    You need some very specific and hard to find players to really have all 3 D-lineman be able to 2-gap. A 1-gap system is harder to coach (due to needing to be more creative in alignments), but it fits our guys better.

  3. 3 Mitchell said at 12:02 PM on August 13th, 2013:

    On a slightly off topic note, I noticed we only had 1 penalty in the first preseason game! Woohoo!

  4. 4 T_S_O_P said at 12:07 PM on August 13th, 2013:

    Out of interest and quantification, how many in KC?

  5. 5 dropscience said at 12:18 PM on August 13th, 2013:

    @Mitchell Pretty sure the Eagles had 5.

    @T_S_O_P:disqus KC had 6.

  6. 6 T_S_O_P said at 1:05 PM on August 13th, 2013:

    Well I’ll predict the the Jets offense will be a slopfest which will include both penalties and turnovers and that KC will be less so. I am hoping we will be one of the lowest in the league in penalties, KC middling and the Jets soaring or should that read plummeting.

    I predict that the 2 clowns in the circus that is Jetsville (RR & MM) will not be there this time next year, however I think they will leave a legacy that will deliver a 3rd Clown(ey) to NY.

  7. 7 Anders said at 1:07 PM on August 13th, 2013:

    If Jets can draft Clowney, they should take Bridgewater instead imo.

  8. 8 GEagle said at 3:42 PM on August 13th, 2013:

    Yeah, As awesome as Clowney is, I don’t see how the next coach can be ok with passing up this crop of QBs because he has Geno Smith

  9. 9 D3FB said at 4:08 PM on August 13th, 2013:

    If the next coach runs a 34 he may prefer Barr over Clowney anyways.

  10. 10 Mitchell said at 10:27 PM on August 13th, 2013:

    🙁 I only read one in the box score

  11. 11 Anders said at 12:58 PM on August 13th, 2013:

    My preferred version of the 3-4 is the Wade Phillips version. I also really like the Pats hybrid version, but I think that would be too tough to teach

  12. 12 GEagle said at 4:52 PM on August 13th, 2013:

    What’s the difference between Wades 3-4 and a 4-3u?

  13. 13 Anders said at 5:11 PM on August 13th, 2013:


  14. 14 Mac said at 1:00 PM on August 13th, 2013:

    Tommy, I almost spit my coffee out from laughter reading that last line. Priceless.

  15. 15 TommyLawlor said at 1:24 PM on August 13th, 2013:

    Thank you sir. Figured that threat would scare everyone.

  16. 16 shah8 said at 1:17 PM on August 13th, 2013:

    Talent was needed to absorb the talent deficiencies of the other players on the DL, I presume.

  17. 17 TommyLawlor said at 1:24 PM on August 13th, 2013:

    I’m confused by the comment. You’re saying we need more D-linemen?

  18. 18 D3FB said at 2:28 PM on August 13th, 2013:

    If anything D-Line is the one position I feel relatively comfortable with.

  19. 19 Jack Waggoner said at 1:38 PM on August 13th, 2013:

    In a perfect world your D-linemen can all play either 1 or 2 gaps as needed.

  20. 20 PeterAkkies said at 1:40 PM on August 13th, 2013:

    In my understanding (which might be wrong; I’m new to football theory), Fletcher Cox is more suited toward the 4-3 Under. So is DeMeco Ryans–I recall him flying up a gap to make a tackle for loss several times last year. But how about Mychal Kendricks? Would he still be able to roam and make plays?

    Edit: also, would a one-gap 3-4 (or 4-3 Under) allow Brandon Graham to get on the field more?

  21. 21 Anders said at 1:53 PM on August 13th, 2013:

    in the 4-3 under he would be 100% protected and have no gap responsability.

    In pure 3-4 2 gap, he would have to engage guards and shed their blocks

  22. 22 GEagle said at 3:45 PM on August 13th, 2013:

    Yeah the 4-3Under is a Godsend for an undersized fast athletic LB like Kendricks(to whoever is making me constantly spend time deleting apostrophes every time I want to type Mykals name, screw you and autocorrect JK)…
    I look at our personel, and I can’t even tell you who I would rather see in a 3-4 as opposed to a 4-3U

  23. 23 Mike Flick said at 1:44 PM on August 13th, 2013:

    The best part of moving to a 3-4 is that Dallas is moving from a 3-4 to a 4-3.

    So clearly a 4-3 defense is a thing from the past.

  24. 24 TommyLawlor said at 1:53 PM on August 13th, 2013:

    We can have fun with that.

  25. 25 Anders said at 1:53 PM on August 13th, 2013:

    and based on Raiders game, Kiffin still have zero clue on how to stop the read option.

  26. 26 eagleyankfan said at 2:27 PM on August 13th, 2013:

    if you don’t win an award for that article, the world is not right. Hilarious!!!

  27. 27 damccomas said at 2:45 PM on August 13th, 2013:

    Tommy, I’ve been to one world fair, a picnic, and a rodeo, and that’s the stupidest thing I ever heard come over a set of earphones. You sure you got today’s codes?

  28. 28 Jack Waggoner said at 4:45 PM on August 13th, 2013:

  29. 29 A_T_G said at 6:13 PM on August 13th, 2013:

    I appreciate the help with the reference. I was very confused.

  30. 30 TommyLawlor said at 9:59 PM on August 13th, 2013:

    Great response to the title.

  31. 31 nicolajNN said at 3:00 PM on August 13th, 2013:

    I’m no scheme guy, but regarding the 1 gap vs 2 gap, and your conversation with Derek on twitter, would the thinking to use 2 gap be to have the DL occupy more blockers and protect the safeties and LBs so they have less bodies to think about?

  32. 32 Media Mike said at 8:30 AM on August 14th, 2013:

    Yes, but we only have one player on our roster who can do that every down from both a skill and size standpoint; Fletcher Cox. “Spooky” has to come off of the field two much and isn’t big / strong enough to command steady double teams. The rest of the guys (Logan, Curry, Dixon, Geathers, etc.) all lack the proper combo of height / strength / talent to consistently 2-gap. We simply don’t have an ability to roll out Keisel / Hampton / Smith of 5 years ago in Pittsburgh to play a full time 2 gap.

  33. 33 GEagle said at 3:26 PM on August 13th, 2013:

    What’s so curious to me besides our most promising young defenders(Cox and Kendricks) being perfect for the 4-3U….is the history of our coaching staff. I don’t really understand the statements that Kelly, Davis and our coaches are 3-4 guys. Where does that come from? Sure Billy Davis was raised in the Steeler 3-4, but he swears by the 4-3U…He had no power as a DC for San Fran, but when he did have the reigns, he ran the 4-3U in Arizona…
    Chips most recent Oregon team was primarily a 4-3Under.

    there were plenty of pure 3-4 DC candidates available for Chip to go after. why did he chose a guy who swears by the same exact defense his Dc(aliotta) ran the past two years at Oregon?

    every interview Connar Barwin has done this offseason he talks about how he had to under go the same exact transition at Houston as Graham and Cole are going through right now..and he always talks about how he is telling them the Benefits of making the switch(They became the 2nd ranked defense)….where in Connors past, did That switch that the Texans made involve 3-4 2gap?

    billy Davis warns us 100 times that we may never get to a 3-4.

    When we were two gapping this offseason, Thorton warned reporters that right now they weren’t in their real roles and coaches were having them do what they are worst at..

    All the signs that I see past, present and future point to a 4-3Under. I just don’t understand all this 3-4 Talk…I’m supposed to ignore all these signs because every once and a while our coaches make some vague statement about having 3 lineman??? I really don’t get it!

  34. 34 GEagle said at 3:32 PM on August 13th, 2013:

    Tom, I would love to read your thoughts on a 3-4 vs. 4-3Under debate in terms of our personel for the main players in the our rotation. It would be interesting to see you make a case for why you think a player is better suited for 3-4, or 4-3U, kind of expanding on what you did for Cox

  35. 35 GEagle said at 4:28 PM on August 13th, 2013:

    Chip Kelly tried to be sneaky sneaky today, but this ain’t Kansas (Oregon) anymore and the Philly Media is no “Tin Man”(debatable lol)..Chip tried to sneak Wolff past the media but they sniffed out the smoke screen. yesterday Chip tried to tell them not to read to much into Wolf starting yesterday because it was his day in the rotation..well today Chip stuck with his word and played Wolff with the 2nd unit…the problem is that he paired Wolff with Patrick Chung today for the 2nd day in a row.

    Coleman and Nate started today..Chip can talk all the competition ish that he wants but everyone knows Kurt Coleman won’t start ahead of Chunger…so watching who Chunger is paired with is what will tell us about the safety battle, so until I see Allen or Phillips starting with Chung I will assume Wolff is our starter(but thats just me)…The kid will get an opportunity on thursday, lets hope for our sakes he makes the most of it…Props to the Philly media for sniffing out the Chippah’s devious plot!
    Chip said he plans on playing the starters for the entire 2nd half with Foles and Vick ideally getting a quarter a piece.
    chip also had high praises for Knott today talking about what a great camp he is having and his high football IQ and instinct. Not said the biggest challenge for him is now having to cover TEs(something he didn’t do much of in College).

    he also would not say that Thorton will be our starter, warning that Benny and Vinny are very much in the mix

  36. 36 GEagle said at 4:32 PM on August 13th, 2013:

    lane Johnson’s Baby boy literally has the biggest hands you will ever see on a newborn lol….Let’s take bets on who the first scumbag college coach will be to recruit Baby Lane?

    I’m going with Saban, offering him a scholarship the day he stops breast feeding.

  37. 37 D3FB said at 7:32 PM on August 13th, 2013:

    Knott should be fine in zone coverage though having come from the Big 12, whose motto should be “we throw more than Andy Reid!”

  38. 38 Mac said at 4:28 PM on August 13th, 2013:

    My vote for worst football oriented article of the day…

    And to think, this kind of crap is trotted out on a day when Hugh Douglas is let go by ESPN. For shame, for shame.

  39. 39 Ark87 said at 5:41 PM on August 13th, 2013:

    I’ll second that, more of the same from the national perspective. It would be nice for one of these guys to demonstrate more knowledge than a casual espn viewer absorbing tid bits on these situations during the offseason.

  40. 40 D3FB said at 7:30 PM on August 13th, 2013:

    I love when authors don’t rationalize any of their points. The closest he comes is saying Vick looked strong flinging the football against the Pats. Clearly we should make decisions based on 5 throws.

  41. 41 Media Mike said at 8:33 AM on August 14th, 2013:

    Adam Schien is HORRIBLE and I’m happy that he left Sirius NFL for the Mad Dog station instead. 3 of the first 4 QBs mentioned (Vick, Prior, and Manuel) are all poor reading, run-first, injuries waiting to happen.

  42. 42 GEagle said at 4:50 PM on August 13th, 2013:

    interesting that at this moment I’m watching NFL live and the analysts Herm and Stink(2 former NFL player) are playing the film of the Eagles preseason game vs. The Pats as they read Cary Williams comments and start praising him for stepping up and making those comments because he was absolutely right.

    Our Media was appalled by it.
    It’s always interesting to me to note major discrepancies in coverage and interpretation when the local and national media are on opposite ends of the spectrum on a certain topic.

  43. 43 Ark87 said at 5:47 PM on August 13th, 2013:

    Tommy, do you think 2-gap 3-4 is better against the read option? I’m figuring if a 2 gapper’s responsibility is not penetration, he can’t be duped into choosing the QB or RB and over aggressively pursuing one, or perhaps it keeps some of quicker guys clean to make a play/minimize the damage done by the option?

  44. 44 ACViking said at 6:33 PM on August 13th, 2013:

    That hypothesis — 3-4 two-gap is good v. read option — was argued recently (by ?).

    The sole supporting evidence was Stanford’s defense last season shutting down Chippy’s Ducks.

    The year before, however, not so much.

    Pretty thin evidence, no?

  45. 45 Ark87 said at 7:24 PM on August 13th, 2013:

    none, really. Strictly hypothetical, with sparse anecdotal examples whose results may or may not have anything to do with the 2-gap 3-4.

    Strictly a mental exercise. Chip isn’t a revolutionary mind on the defensive side of the ball, but he’s pretty adamant about getting to a 3-4. Chip always has a reason, there must be a pretty good one. Now I need to be a player of Fletcher Cox’s caliber, throw a fit, call the transition stupid, and ask Chip why we’re doing this, so that he can calmly explain all my troubles away.

  46. 46 ACViking said at 7:26 PM on August 13th, 2013:

    Another Socratic exercise . . . Excellent.

  47. 47 Media Mike said at 8:38 AM on August 14th, 2013:

    In theory if you have 3 killers at DE/NT/DE running a two gap system, you’ve occupied all 5 o-linemen and a TE, leaving your other 8 defenders to clean up.
    For example, if RG Knee was trying that JV / Gimmick / Flavor of the Month / self-injurious read-option junk vs. the 08 Steelers. Smith and Hampton would totally eat up the Skins blocking leaving Harrison and Farrior to come over and terminate RGKnee / Alfred Morris.

  48. 48 A_T_G said at 6:20 PM on August 13th, 2013:

    Boy, someone out there is grumpy today. Almost every comment got a down vote. Well, how’s this?

  49. 49 A_T_G said at 6:23 PM on August 13th, 2013:

    I see why people are grumpy. My picture didn’t load?!

  50. 50 A_T_G said at 6:25 PM on August 13th, 2013:

    And you can’t down vote your own comment? Now I’m grumpy.

  51. 51 A_T_G said at 6:25 PM on August 13th, 2013:

    Maybe I should take this conversation elsewhere…

  52. 52 Flyin said at 6:55 PM on August 13th, 2013:

    How could you if you looked at your own comment. Up is the only option unless you like to go the other way.

  53. 53 A_T_G said at 7:01 PM on August 13th, 2013:

    I think we may be working from different platforms. I always see the up and down arrow for every comment on my Apple devices. But if you down vote your own, it doesn’t stay when you reload the page.

  54. 54 Flyin said at 7:41 PM on August 13th, 2013:

    I see what you see, it’s just my strange humor trying to keep it clean or somewhat clean. As in, if you looked at the image you posted, up is the only way I see it, had to clean my pc screen and reload for the second time you posted it. If you vote down, you are a synonym for happy. Rhymes with way.

  55. 55 A_T_G said at 10:13 PM on August 13th, 2013:

    Ah, I missed that one. It might have something to do with the one person conversations I’ve had today.

  56. 56 Flyin said at 6:42 PM on August 13th, 2013:

    The 1st one loaded for me and had to reload for seconds.

  57. 57 GEagle said at 6:26 PM on August 13th, 2013:

    Lol…because all my comments were down voted by 1 person, so to not empower him, I immediately down voted everyone else’s to foil his plot!!! In game adjustments baby!!!

  58. 58 planetx1971 said at 6:39 PM on August 13th, 2013:

    I like your plot. It’s an interesting battle tactic. But I have to be honest, it absolutely BOGGLES my mind that any of you guys would care WHATSOEVER whether you get up/down/sideways or no votes at all. I couldn’t even IMAGINE expending the energy to give one wet fart what some other chronic poster thinks of what I have to say. Good or bad. WHO CARES MAN? But that’s just me……

  59. 59 ACViking said at 7:24 PM on August 13th, 2013:

    Give that man a cupie doll . . . .

  60. 60 planetx1971 said at 11:25 AM on August 14th, 2013:

    Mr. Viking, first I’ve always loved the historical perspectives you bring. Definitely the resident Eagles history prof. & you ALWAYS bring your “A” game. I love it! That said, my mom had a collection of Kewpie dolls. They wer highly sought after. That said, your statement to give one to me is deftly veiled in enough ambiguity that I have NO clue whether I just got Kudos or the Gong. WELL PLAYED :))

  61. 61 Ark87 said at 7:34 PM on August 13th, 2013:

    I enjoy the discussions generated here. I’d much prefer a thoughtful counter point over the anonymous downvote. Also I always feel bad disagreeing with a comment with down votes, I always want to add a disclaimer at the end.

    *dude I totally didn’t down vote you, we cool?*

  62. 62 planetx1971 said at 9:21 PM on August 13th, 2013:

    You got straight to the heart of it. This is the first & last site I check everyday. I love it, and I really love the banter between what are (largely) some of the most informed and articulate readers in all of Eagledom. That said if I disagree with something enough that I’d consider a down vote, I’ll instead engage them in the forum. Giving just a down vote feels like the equivalent of the “Do you like me yes or no notes we all passed around in 5th grade. Actually CONCERNING yourself with your count, (another school metaphor coming lol) reminds me of the kids that HAD to have their yearbooks signed the most times :))

  63. 63 GEagle said at 6:01 AM on August 14th, 2013:

    I would Never down vote anonymously…I up vote anonymously if I don’t have anything to add….I rarely downvote anything, if I do down vote something, you can bet your ass I’m writing why I disagree underneath it

  64. 64 GEagle said at 6:00 AM on August 14th, 2013:

    It happens to me every single day and I never do…just thought Id have some fun with it today

  65. 65 Media Mike said at 8:39 AM on August 14th, 2013:

    Who is stalking you with down votes?

  66. 66 ACViking said at 6:48 PM on August 13th, 2013:

    Where’s the wife of the long snapper? LSs get all the hotties, or so a posting of her picture might suggest.

  67. 67 A_T_G said at 6:57 PM on August 13th, 2013:

    I thought it might be in bad taste with Jon in his weakened state and all.

  68. 68 A_T_G said at 7:05 PM on August 13th, 2013:

    But, I would hate to disappoint…

  69. 69 ACViking said at 7:22 PM on August 13th, 2013:

    JD would appreciate how thoughtful you were to both note his state and that of his wife.

    By the way, what’s the bus supposed to suggest?

  70. 70 A_T_G said at 10:18 PM on August 13th, 2013:

    Hey, look at that! There is a bus in that picture.

    At first I just assumed you missed a “t” when you were typing.

  71. 71 GEagle said at 6:24 PM on August 13th, 2013:

    Redskins lost rookie Phillip Thomas for the season

  72. 72 Anders said at 6:59 PM on August 13th, 2013:

    Thats a big blow for the Redskins pass D that was terrible anyway.

    I think week 1 against the Skins could easily be a 30+ game for both teams.

  73. 73 GEagle said at 6:13 AM on August 14th, 2013:

    Yeah it really is…they were going to rely heavily on young kids in the secondary…I would have much rather lost Rambo lol

  74. 74 Anders said at 7:20 AM on August 14th, 2013:

    Did you see Chris Johnson’s long run against the Skins? Omg what a terrible tackle attempt.

  75. 75 Media Mike said at 8:42 AM on August 14th, 2013:

    I hope we can pass along the upset of the Skins losing a few more players as well. Body Bag II ! Hopefully Brian Mitchell is available to come out of the Skins press box to play some QB.
    And to top it all off, I’d love for Cary Williams to be knock out Garcon….then tell everybody it was because; a) people fear the Eagles now and b) he did it for racial justice because the “Redskin” name is racist!

  76. 76 ACViking said at 6:45 PM on August 13th, 2013:

    Re: Competing in the NFC in the ’10s

    Jimmy Bama posted some thoughts in lieu of practice notes.

    One of them was that if the Birds are to be uber competitive in the NFC, the defense is “going to have to deal” with mobile QBs like Kaeppy, Bob, Willy, and the Newt.

    My own theory is, especially as those guys age a bit, the answer will be beating the crap out of them when they throw the ball from the pocket — like T-Law’s beloved Gang Green used to do.

    So what will it take to turn Kelly’s Birds into a dominant pass-rushing defense? That’s the question that follows from the answer. (The Socratic method lives.)

    Link to JB here:

  77. 77 Media Mike said at 8:45 AM on August 14th, 2013:

    Gunther Cunningham shares a mind with you. Hit them, hit them, hit them. There are no rules against lighting up a player involved in fake runs. The 09 NFC title game showed you can even cheap shot a guy (Saints cheap shots on Favre away from the ball on run plays) who is walking away from a handoff. If you have MLBs/ILBs and DBs who can tackle; you’d trade occasional 8 yard runs for bruised and battered QB all day.

  78. 78 Flyin said at 6:49 PM on August 13th, 2013:

    Bill Davis’ PC from yesterday was impressive. He really showed his passion and energy answering questions in an intelligent manner. However, I was a little disappointed he didn’t mention genes and dinner table discussions. Other than that, I found it was fundamentally sound.

  79. 79 Dragon_Eagle said at 7:36 PM on August 13th, 2013:

    After Juanita and I finish covering the finer points of why Casey Matthews is the prototype wide-nine MLB, I’m sending Rich Kotite to your place for a fireside chat on use of the two-point conversion.

  80. 80 TommyLawlor said at 10:04 PM on August 13th, 2013:

    Richie is like Socrates, but smarter.

  81. 81 Media Mike said at 8:46 AM on August 14th, 2013:

    If you ever get a chance to meet Gary Cobb while covering the team, ask him about how Richie “Too-tight” kicked G-Cobb out of the Eagles food line during training camp one year in retaliation for some critical comments. Kotite was a horrible coach and a petty human being. Let G eat!

  82. 82 Corry said at 7:37 PM on August 13th, 2013:

    I’m personally a fan of the 3-4, but I think we’re really wasting our existing talent by trying to go to it. I understand that it’s a long term goal, but players like Cox, Curry, and Kendricks are only 2nd year players. Graham is also relatively young and has a lot of years left. If you’re trying to build around that core of players, a 2 gap system just seems like the completely wrong system to switch to. I think Cox’s talents are wasted in the traditional 2 gap 3-4 and I don’t believe Curry can anchor against the run. I also don’t think Kendricks has the size and strength to deal with OLinemen in his face regularly. Graham looks way out of place in space and seems ideal for a predator type role in the 4-3 under.

    Just my 2 cents…

  83. 83 Neil said at 8:20 PM on August 13th, 2013:

    Curry looked frightening the first game. I think if that holds up and he gets better against the run, he will be a good-great player playing 5 technique in an under. Or maybe he could play LB if we want to go to 2 gap. Either way, I’m not sure he’s ill served by a change in scheme. Kendricks could play in any scheme if you ask me, but he’s probably best suited to a position that’s shielded by dlinemen. My only beef, and it’s a big one, is Cox. He could be a great 2 gapper, but that’s such a waste since he has great strength AND speed, and he doesn’t really need the latter much to 2gap. I’m not sure what to make of Graham.

    Thing is, even if Cox and Curry are asked to 2gap in the base defense as their primary responsibility as ends, I’d be willing to bet there will be calls or packages where they shoot gaps in order to catch the offense off guard. And in nickel it’s the old wide 9 like every other team in the league, so that means even if they 2gapped every snap in base defense they would still have half their snaps shooting up the field.

  84. 84 Corry said at 8:42 PM on August 13th, 2013:

    “And in nickel it’s the old wide 9 like every other team in the league, so that means even if they 2gapped every snap in base defense they would still have half their snaps shooting up the field.”

    That’s the glass is half full thought. I’m more of a glass is half empty kind of guy. Granted, even in a one gap system they wouldn’t ALWAYS be shooting up field, and in certain occasions they may even be asked to 2 gap so it wouldn’t be 100% attacking, but I think the one gap system would be a better use of our existing talent even with the existence sub packages with a 2 gap defense.

  85. 85 Neil said at 8:44 PM on August 13th, 2013:

    Yeah, at least if the defense becomes good we can stop doubting. I’m a-praying.

  86. 86 Corry said at 8:51 PM on August 13th, 2013:

    100% agreed.

  87. 87 Jay Austin said at 8:23 PM on August 13th, 2013:

    As long as I never have dreams about you riding a nuclear phallus waving a Cowboy hat in the air, we’re going to be OK.
    Admission: I’m 3-4 curious.

  88. 88 TommyLawlor said at 10:04 PM on August 13th, 2013:

    Well played, sir.

  89. 89 Always Hopeful said at 9:00 PM on August 13th, 2013:

    I’m late to the party and I haven’t run through the rest of the comments yet, but is that a Dr. Strangelove reference? I don’t all your pop culture references but I THINK I got this one…or not.

    I don’t remember much of the 3-4 that Marion Campbell ran in the early ’80’s, and came to love Buddy Ryan’s version of the 4-3. I appreciate the call to be patient. There will be growing pains for sure this year. I think we all hope that the offense can keep us most games this season.

  90. 90 TommyLawlor said at 10:05 PM on August 13th, 2013:

    Yes on Dr. Strangelove.

  91. 91 SteveH said at 10:13 PM on August 13th, 2013:

    Guess we better hope we draft the right guys for our new front 7, or this could be a painful stretch of defense over the next few years.

  92. 92 GEagle said at 6:06 AM on August 14th, 2013:

    Trying to read between the lines, why is chip so hesitant to compliment Inny Curry? He has been praising Logan and Square to high heaven but when reporters ask him abut Curry he says:
    Everyone knows Vinny is a great pass rusher, we have to see how he can do other things…I don’t get it, the entire city is been writing about how Curry is a man without a position, Vinny came out, flashed some game and I don’t understand why Chip is refusing to publicaly acknowledge it…

    In other news McNabb is an Idiot lol: “Rg3 is being brainwashed”….ATleast he didn’t go with the abducted by aliens excuse

  93. 93 Daniel Norman Richwine said at 7:09 AM on August 14th, 2013:

    Always have been a 3-4 guy myself. Hope they run it well, its a lot of fun when all parts click.